How did the Clippers do it? They went on a 28-3 run to close out Sunday night’s game and steal a dramatic 99-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. If you want to see how they did it, above you can see all the baskets of that run. There are some easy buckets inside and Nick Young raining down threes.
Memphis slipped on defense, but the bigger problem was their offense disapeared — they stopped pounding the ball inside with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, and the good looks they did get they just missed. It snowballed. And every miss fueled the Clippers, who to the credit of the young team did not roll over.
We thought going in this would be the best series of the first round, but who saw this coming?
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.